Wall and Pine: The Rain

By Anne Winters b. 1939 Anne Winters
Now the god of rainy August hangs his mask
among the city’s spires and balustrades
and stone clocktowers half-effaced in clouds.
On Park the first reflecting pool dims
with a thousand smelted-silver circle-rims,
while west on Fifth a modiste scatters leaves
in fall vitrines, and felt-browed mannequins
resign the world with gestures of disdain.

Now in the Cloister’s high parterres the rain
floods copper gutterings, boxwood, terraced urns
and mottoes. “The weather turns.” Clamped to their pier,
the smiling Gaul, the murderer Clotaire,
and Isaiah, green-throned, water-cowled, exchange
their fine-lit ironies for rotes of pain.

Anne Winters, “Wall and Pine: The Rain” from The Displaced of Capital (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2004). Copyright © 2004 by Anne Winters. Used by permission of the author.

Source: The Displaced of Capital (The University of Chicago Press, 2004)

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Poet Anne Winters b. 1939

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Crime & Punishment


Anne Winters is the author of The Key to the City (1986), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Displaced of Capital (2004), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.

Her poems address issues of poverty, homelessness, social inequality, and the city of New York. Dan Chiasson described her poems as “Miltonic, Marxist, ornate, and indignant,” adding that “her real . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Crime & Punishment

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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